Wednesday, January 9, 2013

First Amendment Freedom

Imagine our surprise upon reading this
This article has been taken down as it breached an embargo.
After we'd read this in our reader:

British forces to be equipped with Glock pistols for protection in Afghanistan

New weapons will replace venerable Browning sidearms that MoD says are too slow to fire in case of close-quarter attack
British troops in Afghanistan – and on future operations anywhere else – will be better able to defend themselves with the help of the first new standard pistol issued to the armed forces in more than 40 years.
Faced with the threat of attacks at close quarters – not least from members of the Afghan security forces turned by the Taliban or bearing individual grievances – the new weapons will enable them to shoot faster and more effectively, troops say.
More than 25,000 Austrian-made Glock pistols will finally replace the clunky Browning sidearm with which squaddies and commandos have had to cope for decades, the Ministry of Defence announced on Wednesday.
An £8.5m contract has been awarded to Glock after a tendering contest and trials stretching over two years. No British company competed; even the new pistol's holster is made abroad, in Italy.
The MoD recently urgently ordered a consignment of Swiss Sig Sauer pistols to enable British troops to protect themselves better in Afghanistan.
The new pistol, a variant of the Glock 17, will make it easier for British soldiers "to shoot back", said Colonel Peter Warden, head of the MoD defence equipment organisation's light weapons team.
The 9mm Glock is lighter and tougher than the Browning but above all much easier to fire – advantages which have already attracted US law enforcement agencies, including police forces, to the weapon.
The new pistol can be removed from its holster and fired within a second. With the Browning it would take four seconds or more.
"If I'm getting it out in under a second, I'm going to win it," said Marine Sergeant Steve Long, who has been deployed twice to Afghanistan as well as to Iraq and Sierra Leone. He tested the Glock in the heat of Brunei.
Speaking at Woolwich Arsenal in south-east London, where journalists and officials were invited to test the new pistol, he described the decision to equip British troops with the new weapon as a "massive step forward". He explained that with the Browning, a soldier had to undo the holster flap, flick the safety catch and draw a bullet from the magazine before firing a shot.
The Glock has built-in safety catches, and the pistol can be kept fully loaded with a round in the chamber even when it is in the holster. Its magazine can hold 17 rounds, compared to just 13 in the Browning.
"Pistols are vital in close combat and are a key part of a soldier's armoury," said Warrant Officer Mark Anderson of the Royal Marines. Personal sidearms were described by soldiers on Wednesday as "lifesavers".
Warden said that a Glock pistol will be available to every British soldier in Afghanistan later this year. Whether they will be issued with the new pistol will be up to their commanding officer.
The announcement was a significant moment in the long history of the ubiquitous Browning pistol – a personal weapon that Saddam Hussein frequently had at his side. Libya's Colonel Gaddafi also had one – gold-plated, and with his image on its handle. Libyan rebels waved it in the air when he was captured during the 2011 revolution.
Eat it, Royal Army/MoD. Eat it raw.


Weird Dave said...

The better to kill you with, my dear.

And I may be wrong, but I don't believe they care much about those first amendment rights things in Merry Old England.

M. Bouffant said...

Official Secrets Editor:
Not like we pretend to in the United Snakes they don't.

And probably de-bargoed by the time we got around to it anyway. (Nonetheless, not planning to visit Great Britain for a while.)

Substance McGravitas said...

No British company competed

Do tell.

mikey said...

Dumb. The FN Browning (BTW, FN is a Belgian company) P-35 is in no way "slower" than the Glock. Get rid of the flap holster, as they are obviously going to do when they issue the Glocks, and carry "Condition One" (cocked and locked), which you can't even do with modern striker fired pistols, and it's actually faster. And I really don't like Glocks in combat - the muzzle flip and bad weight distribution make follow up shots even double taps difficult and inaccurate. And don't even get me started on worrying about improving combat effectiveness and still issuing the 9mm, as if there weren't half a dozen better, more modern options today...

M. Bouffant said...

Fabrique Nationale Editor:
There will always be an England, despite the best efforts of the English.